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New Jackson County manager starts work today
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The Jackson County Board of Commissioners hired a new manager Wednesday morning, who started work today.

Darrell Hampton, former Stephens County administrator, has accepted the position. The commission vote was unanimous, with Jody Thompson absent from Wednesday’s meeting but sending a letter in support.

Hampton has 25 years of experience in local government and said he is eager to serve Jackson County taxpayers.

"For someone who wants to try to help the community shape and grow, this is a tremendous opportunity," Hampton said.

The county mission statement, which focuses on preservation of community values, drew Hampton to Jackson County.

It is a critical time for the county, as population growth rapidly changes the landscape.

"Not very many county commissioners where you look at the mission statements do they talk so much about community, family and quality of life," Hampton said.

Hampton resigned from Stephens County in August after working a two-day notice, according to The Toccoa Record. The Stephens County commission chairman told the newspaper that Hampton was not forced to resign.

But Hampton, who served five years as administrator, received a severance package including at least $25,000, a rental vehicle, continued health insurance and $1,500 in gas expenses.

Since 1993, Hampton also has worked as Sumter County administrator, a regional representative for the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, city manager for Morrow and assistant chief administrative officer for Americus.

He has a master’s degree in public administration from Columbus College, with graduate work in public administration at Auburn University, and a bachelor’s in community planning and development from Columbus College.

The two other finalists for the Jackson County manager position were Oakwood City Manager Stan Brown and former Upson County Manager Bob Zellner. There were 14 applications filed, according to interim County Manager Leonard Myers.

This was Jackson County’s second search for a manager since Hoschton resident Crandall Jones was fired in February.

Facing allegations of racial discrimination, the county settled with Jones for $330,000.

Myers will stay on during a transitional period to help work on special projects.